Point of Interest - Mount Vernon Trail

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POINT OF INTEREST MOUNT VERNON TRAIL

The Mount Vernon Trail is a historic and picturesque 18-mile fully sealed (some sections are boardwalks) and the paved multi-purpose trail that stretches from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. It connects with regional trails, including the Potomac Heritage Trail, Custis Trail, Rock Creek, Four Mile Run, and Woodrow Wilson Bridge Trails.

No visit to our nation’s capital or Alexandria, Virginia is complete without at least walking some steps on it! More information here.

The Mount Vernon Trail wraps around the banks of the mighty Potomac River offering uninterrupted views of Washington, D.C., and its skyline. Users of the trail can run, walk, or cycle on the trail that leads to all of the same sites cars see along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The trail was originally built by the local park service in two phases. The first part of the trail, which is a gravel path starting at the George Mason Memorial Bridge, and now incorporates the Lady Bird Trail running up to Slaters Lane in Alexandria, was opened on April 15, 1972. A year later it was extended 7.5 miles further south from I-495 to Mount Vernon.

Since the Mount Vernon Trail opened it has been expanded, widened, connected to, and improved many times. It is a heavily traveled and enjoyed trail for residents of Alexandria and Washington, DC.

Much of the trail runs alongside the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the western bank of the Potomac River with the northern half of the trail open to views of the river and Washington, D.C, whilst the southern 8 miles below Alexandria is heavily wooded with limited river views. Users of the trail can therefore travel across a variety of settings on its 18-mile length.

Some particular highlights (apart from the Potomac River and Washington, D.C.)  along the length of the trail include: 

  • The tulip fields (when in bloom) at the exterior of the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial
  • The Theodore Roosevelt Bridge and Island
  • The Arlington Memorial Bridge
  • The Dyke Marsh
  • The portion running through Belle Haven
  • The bridge over Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  • Passing through the quaint Old Town neighborhood of Alexandria
  • Jones Point and the Jones Point Lighthouse
  • Fort Hunt Park
  • Navy-Marine Memorial
  • Riverside Park and,
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove.

The Mount Vernon Trail is part of the much larger mid-Atlantic Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, which is a designated National Scenic Trail corridor spanning across parts of the mid-Atlantic and upper southeast of the United States and connects to other trails and historic sites in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Another article here.

For visitors and users of the trail, there are a number of facilities dotted along the trail including restrooms, parking, trash cans, and water facilities. The trail is open to the public year-round from 6 am to 10 pm, however, commuters can use the trail at their convenience.

VISIT US FROM MOUNT VERNON TRAIL

VISIT MOUNT VERNON TRAIL FROM MOUNT VERNON

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